Oh Brie! You are the pillowy, creamy substance of our cheesy dreams. And our artisan Irish bries are up there with the very best. Join us in learning a little more about this popular style of cheese. And we will introduce you to the very best of Irish Brie!
Originating from the Île-de-France region of France (northeast of Paris), this soft and pleasingly sqidgey farmhouse cheese is traditionally made from cow’s milk. Once mixed with enzymes and rennet, it’s left to rest in a mould for the signature rind to bloom.
While it’s undeniably French in origin, only certain types of brie have protected geographical status (Brie de Meaux, Brie de Melun), which is why you’ll find varieties from all over the world. And some particularly good examples of Irish brie!
Irish Brie VS Irish Camembert?
Generally speaking the difference between the two cheeses are their fat levels. A standard brie is 60% milk fat, while Camembert is 45%. Another difference is the number of times lactic starter is added to the cheese during production. Both of which play into the flavour and texture.
Brie is typically milder, with a buttery, creamy flavour. Notes of fresh mushrooms and clarified butter. Whilst Camembert can be more intense in flavour, with deeper earthy notes. Camembert tends to be the ‘stinkier’ option – and we mean that in a very good way!
But we shall chat more about Irish camembert another time. Let’s find out more about our artisan Irish brie!
Your Guide to Artisan Irish Brie
Irish Brie. One of the most popular products in the cheese counter. And a welcome companion to many a night in. An essential on a traditional cheeseboard. And a key layer in many a celebration cheese cake.
But what are the options when it comes to Irish Brie? And what makes them so special?
Wicklow Bán Brie
Wicklow Bán brie is a full fat cow’s milk cheese made by John and Bernie Hempenstall of Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese, on their farm in Curranstown, County Wicklow. The cheese takes its name from the Irish word bán, meaning white. And all of the milk used comes from the Hempenstall’s own herd of 60 pedigree Fresians.
This Irish brie is a double cream cheese with a fat content of 65-70%, meaning that additional cream is added to the milk thus ensuring a fuller, even more luxurious flavour. Open textured and bloomy rinded – Wicklow Bán brie has a wonderfully full, creamy flavour with a mild, rich finish.
David is cautious to avoid over-salting his cheese, which may explains how he has achieved creaminess without the overly buttery notes often associated with other double and triple cream cheeses! What an absolute beauty!
The Triple Rose
The exquisite Ballylisk Triple Rose cheese from the Wright family farm in Ballylisk, Armagh.
This single herd, bloomy rind cheese with extra cream is something special. It has a deep, rich flavour balanced with salty, lemony undertones. Triple Rose is a triple cream Irish brie (hence the name) which means that additional cream is added to the milk. No wonder it’s so decadently creamy!
The Wright family has been farming in Ballylisk in Armagh since 1820. Dean Wright is the fifth generation to work the land and the first generation to make cheese. Centuries of work have gone into tending the land at Ballylisk and Dean has done that justice with a beautiful cheese that is gaining recognition on the world stage.
The Triple Rose comes in individually packaged wheels making the perfect gift for that cheese lover in your life. Try it along with some Deli Muru Fig Chutney or treat yourself by enjoying it as part of The Weekender hamper.
Wicklow Blue Brie
Made in a blue brie style, it is not dissimilar to the French Bleu de Bresse, although Wicklow Blue is firmer and more buttery in flavour. The cheese’s high cream content goes some way towards facilitating the development of its velvety non-bitter rind. The blue flavour is very mild and unobtrusive. The overall impression is one of buttery whipped cream and white mushrooms.
John began making Wicklow Blue brie on an on experimental basis in 2002. And lucky for us, he has continued to do so ever since! A super addition to his successful Bán Wicklow Brie.